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Feb 8, 2013 03:13 PM

Let's take a better look at my (possibly knockoff?) copper saucepan.

Ok I need some experts. As per this thread: the pan arrived this morning. It seems considerably "too light" and overall does not inspire a feeling of quality. It is pretty however and I have not cooked with it yet. I have attached a bunch of pictures to demonstrate some of the criteria I have noticed and would love help identifying the pan. Facts:

1. One could argue that the pan is 'handmade' as it does not appear overly uniform in places.
2. A magnet stuck to the inside of the pan -sometimes-.
3. There is a pattern of concentric rings clearly visible on the lid and less visible on the (rather scratched) interior
4. The rivets are either sloppy or again done by hand.
5. The handle is definitely not uniform and appears to have been touched by human hands rather than a machine.
6. There is a suspicious vertical SEAM on the inside of the pan on the wall. What the hell?
7. When looking at the edge or lip of the pan the layer of copper appears VERY thin in fact the entire pan appears thin.

I have no experience with copper cookware. I was hoping an expert could help me make a judgment about what was admittedly a steal. If it is a decorative or useless piece I won't feel so bad.

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  1. Hi, Wapptor:

    I see nothing about the handle, rivets, or the interior that should give you any concern. The vertical line, which you call a seam--I'm not really sure what that is, but it looks more like a deep scratch to me (also nothing to worry over. I think).

    Your pan is not very thick-looking. How does its thickness compare with a penny or a nickle? Unless it is about as thick as a nickel, it is a "table service" pan, which you *can* cook in but which was not really intended for that.

    The most interesting question to me is whether you have a copper pan lined with stainless (bimetal), or instead whether you have a stainless pan plated in copper. The former would not be a "knockoff", whereas IMO the latter would be.

    What are the dimensions and what does it weigh? That, with your coin comparison, should tell you what you need to know.

    Finally, no maker's mark at all?


    4 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Im going to say that it is definitely thinner than a nickel. It's alarmingly thin tbh. If I had to guess I'd also say that it is stainless with a thin outer layer of copper. It's very pretty and it only cost an hours pay so I'm not too bummed but I think it is probably what you called a table service pan. Can you tell me more about what that means/what I could do with it?

      1. re: Wapptor

        Hi, Wapptor:

        You still haven't disclosed its dimensions and weight...

        If it is indeed table service, then you can still cook in it, but will not realize the chief benefit of a thicker pan--even heat, while still being very responsive. If you already have very even hob, this is not a huge thing. But table service pans do not have the ability to conduct a lot of heat up the sidewalls, and if you have an uneven hob, there is nowhere for the hot to go except straight through, i.e., a hotspot.

        I encourage you to play with it. See if it is an improvement over what you're used to. It should boil water exceedingly fast if it is bimetal.


        1. re: kaleokahu

          Hey Kaleo,
          I don't have a scale to weigh it with. Its 8 inches across by 3.75 deep. The pan is definitely copper plated. Looking at the edge it is clear that it is a metal pan with a paper thin outer layer of copper. I might play around with it. I'm more likely to just try and resell it though. Can you explain to me what you mean by a table service pan? I am a home cook not a pro and don't really know what that means. What defines a table service pan and what is it used for/what are its limitations?

          1. re: Wapptor

            It means that the pan was intended to bring to the table to serve the patron or guest, not to cook in.

            There is no firm rule on this, but table service pans usually: (a) are quite thin; (b) have brass handles, (c) fewer rivets; (d) lighter-grade handles. Most collectors would call most pans thinner than 2mm table service. But Mauviel and others sell a lot of 1.5mm pans, and people do cook in them.

            AS I said before, its limitations are its evenness--susceptibility to hotspots and insufficient heat up the sides of the pan.


    2. My philosophy is simple; You get what you pay for. A 'pretty' pan means nothing if it doesn't perform. You purchased a look alike, don't set your expectations like it's the real McCoy!